Oyster Recovery Project plants 1 million baby oysters

Workers at Horn Point in Cambridge on the Choptank River loaded up oyster shells to be taken to the Tred Avon River earlier this month.

They weren't live oysters, but oyster shells recycled from restaurants and seeded with baby oysters called spat. Oyster shells with spat on them were taken to an oyster bar in hopes of these spat growing up to be adult oysters.

Officials with the Oyster Recovery Project say these shells with spat have a 20 percent better survival rate than oyster spat does naturally in the bay. Part of what the Oyster Recovery Project does is to help plant oysters in the Bay.

The tubs held about 5,000 oysters, and on those oysters are close to a million spat. That's a million baby oysters ready for Maryland waters.

Doug West is the captain for the Robert Lee, the boat where the oysters are loaded. He was a waterman and understands how difficult a job that can be.

One adult oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day. A healthy oyster reef is good news for the marine life in the bay.

"You can fish around that, you can run a trout line, you know catch crabs. Everything breeds off of that. When you have a clean Chesapeake Bay and the oyster bar is in good health, everything else is in good shape also. You know we're hoping to make a difference and continue to do it," West said. 

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